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Ask Erik Huberman what sets Hawke Media apart from other marketing agencies, and he doesn’t mince words: “Most agencies suck.” In fact, that’s one of the main reasons that Erik founded Hawke Media more than three years ago. Hawke Media is an “outsourced CMO” company that provides creative marketing solutions to some of the coolest companies around. Hawke has seen massive growth since launch, scaling to nearly a hundred employees and landing big name clients like Verizon, InCase, Creative Recreation, and many more.
This week we’re going back to the archives, to bring you one of our earliest and best guests, Hank Fortener. Hank Fortener is an adoption expert, speaker, and sought-after authority on culture and leadership. As the founder of AdoptTogether.org and World Adoption Day, Hank has dedicated much of his life to helping young people who are “without a tribe” feel a sense of family and belonging. AdoptTogether’s mission is simple but powerful - to create a world in which there is a family for every child. Through his organizations, Hank has helped thousands of families raise literally millions dollars towards adoption expenses to help bring their children home. Luckily for us, Hank has applied much of his learning around human behavior and belonging to the business world. In our conversation, Hank talks about the importance of empathy in organizational cultures; why solving problems is the most important job of any individual, team, or company; and why storytelling is at the heart of great leadership.
In case you haven’t heard, esports are kind of a big deal. They’ve attracted massive worldwide audiences, sold out live events at Staple Center and Madison Square Garden in mere minutes, and boast an aggregate viewership that has eclipsed traditional sports like baseball. To bring us up to speed, we talk to someone on the leading edge of the esports revolution - Mike Milanov.
How’s this for a recipe for success: Work at McKinsey. Go to film school. Take over a high-level entertainment strategy role when your colleague has a mental breakdown. Start your first company in your mid-thirties. Sound a bit... circuitous? Well it's precisely the path that today’s guest Adam Zbar took, and it seems to be working out. Adam is the CEO and founder of Sun Basket, a San Francisco-based meal-kit delivery service that makes healthy cooking easy by delivering ready to make recipes and organic and non-GMO ingredients every week.
Sometimes being the company that VCs just don’t “get” can actually work to your advantage. Take MeUndies, the wildly successful direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand on a mission to produce the world’s most comfortable and sustainable underwear. After a seed round in 2011, they found that convincing investors to pour money into their subscription-based underwear business was more challenging than they anticipated. Compared to some of their startup peers, they often felt a little underfunded. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Being largely bootstrapped taught them an important lesson that they would have never learned any other way - the importance of taking calculated risks. When you’re underfunded, you have to be savvy enough to see an opportunity when it arises, nimble enough to mobilize and take advantage of it, and brave enough to actually pull the trigger.